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Donlin Drive Elementary fifth-graders build, break bridges

Donlin Drive Elementary's fifth-grade teams recently participated in the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology's Build 'Em and Bust 'Em Bridge Building Contest. This contest, sponsored by Lockheed Martin, Connect a Million Minds, and Syracuse University's L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science, challenged students in grades four through twelve to use math and science skills to design and build a bridge with trusses. The bridges were then tested for their strength and durability.

Six teams of students from Catherine Maw and Peter Crump's DDE classes discovered that building the bridges challenged their measuring skills and required a practical application of geometry skills as the trusses were designed and created. Students enthusiastically designed trusses that could support weight, and worked together in teams to problem-solve. DDE students demonstrated teamwork, perseverance, consensus decision making, and improved communication skills as they learned how to complete their projects successfully.

"We are proud of the excellent effort team members put forth in building their bridges," Maw said.

Each student received a Bridge Building T-shirt and certificate of accomplishment from the MOST. The DDE teams and their families enjoyed breakfast on arrival, explored the museum, and ate lunch at the MOST with fellow competitors, all courtesy of the Build 'Em and Bust 'Em Competition.

"After the excitement of testing their bridges, students were already discussing what they would do differently next year," Maw said.

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